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Does Carolina need a goalie before it’s too late?

Mar 29, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Branson Prust #8 of the Montreal Canadiens scores a goal against Justin Peters #35 of the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period at PNC Arena on March 7, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
(March 6, 2013 - Source: Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Nothing has gone right for the Carolina Hurricanes lately. With goaltenders Cam Ward and Dan Ellis nursing injuries, the Hurricanes have been forced to start Justin Peters in back-to-back games.

Peters, who was playing in his 35th career NHL contests, allowed four goals on 34 shots in Carolina’s seventh straight loss on Thursday.

“The bottom line is this: we didn’t get the saves,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller told NHL.com. “We didn’t get the saves at the right time and it cost us.”

Ellis (leg) might be back in the not too distant future, but Cam Ward is likely still weeks away from returning from a sprained MCL. There’s no guarantee Ward will even return this season, but even if he does, it might be too late for the Hurricanes’ playoff chances.

At the moment, they’re three points shy of eighth place, so all hope isn’t lost. With that in mind, wouldn’t it make sense for the Hurricanes to add some short-term depth to their goaltending situation?

Trading for a veteran netminder on the final season of his contract could prove to be the difference between Carolina making and missing the postseason. One prime candidate is 40-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin.

Devan Dubnyk has firmly established himself as the Edmonton Oilers’ starting goaltender at this point, but Khabibulin has a 2.30 GAA and .930 save percentage in eight games this season. He could provide the Hurricanes with some much-needed relief.

When Ellis returns, the two netminders could split the starting duties and Khabibulin would serve as an insurance policy in the playoffs should Carolina get that far.

The Hurricanes might have some competition for Khabibulin though. The Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, are reportedly interested in adding a veteran goaltender, although they might ultimately decide on a more long-term option.

The Hurricanes only have a matter of days to decide before the April 3 deadline, and the way they’ve been playing lately, you could argue they need to act immediately.

  1. canucks30 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I think it’s Luongo time for the Hurricanes

    • lonespeed - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      They cannot afford Luongo, so that’s not going to happen. They won’t be able to afford Ryan Miller either. The only option is getting an aging but capable veteran like the story suggests. Preferably with a contract only through this season.

    • jhuck92 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      it’s Luongo time for everybody, apparently

  2. uscthom78 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Jordan staal must be happy that he made the right decision.

  3. steelers88 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I bet Jordan Staal still wishes he was on the Pens!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Well remember the Canes were somewhat easily leading the Southeast before their franchise goaltender went down. Not many teams would survive if their star goalie was lost for the season. Especially considering Ellis and Peters have never shown they have the ability to stick in the NHL. I remember when Ward went down there were actually people on here saying that he wasn’t even that important to Carolina’s success… I’d say that’s been proven laughable.

  4. steelers88 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    The Hurricanes have to do something they can’t just keep playing with two mediocre goalies. They might have to go after Loungo. They have the talent it’s just unfortunate that their franchise goalie went down.

  5. withseidelinn - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    They’re already done, why bother?

  6. whammy71 - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    I’m a Pens fan and I’m not gonna throw some smug line out there about Staal. He won a Cup, gets to play with his brother and has 60 million reasons to like Carolina more than PGH.

    Peace!

    Now if he was a Flyer – that would be a whole other story – then he would be a c#$k sucking dbag loser – like Talbolt and JJ!!!!!

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